The results are contained in the annual Business Outlook report, which calculates statistical changes derived from pub transactions brokered by the company.
It found that the average sale price of a pub fell by 3.3% in 2012, compared to a 1.1% drop in 2011 and a 0.9% decline in 2010.
Christie+Co’s director and head of pubs Neil Morgan said that this stability has provided more confidence among individual buyers and private-equity firms.
The agent found that 77% of the pubs it sold went to experienced operators who had previously chosen to exit the sector.
With regards to alternative use, 62% of the pubs sold by Christie+Co in 2012 stayed as pubs. The company noticed an increasing proportion remaining for some form of licensed use, and fewer changes of use for convenience retail (less than 6%) and residential purposes.
Last year also saw a 7% increase in the number of pubs sold by Christie+Co, compared to 2011.
Morgan said: “Having fallen dramatically in 2008 and 2009, average pub prices have been relatively stable over the past few years — giving individual purchasers and private-equity investors the confidence to come back into the market.”
He added: “Sale prices reflected the condition of the assets and even those that had been starved of capex sold well because they provided buyers with a blank sheet on which to stamp their own style of operation.
“Managed houses continued to be the most highly prized pub assets and, with around 9,000 units in the UK, competition for the few that reached the market was particularly intense.”
Looking ahead, Morgan predicts: “We can expect to see some bigger transactions in 2013 as confidence grows.”